Durham City

Durham City 1922/23





Durham City FC - first Game In The Football League

DURHAM CITY’S PROMISING PERFORMANCE
POINT GAINED AT SOUTHPORT

Football League Division 3 North
Southport 1 v 1 Durham City
Glover (30) 1 v 1 Young (10)
Southport - Drabble, Sinclair, Bainbridge, Skinner, Little, Abram, Appleton, Glover, Wray, Rigsby, Semple
Durham City - Patchett, Hosie, Turnbull, Musgrove, Davison, Carr, Surtees, Cousins, Smith, Young, Wensley

Haig Avenue, Saturday 27th August 1921, Attendance 7,000

The Citizens left the City of Durham on the Friday night, for their very first Football League game, accompanied by the Club Chairman, Councillor Holiday and the Secretary J Sowerby. They would all return home on the Sunday.

Expectations were running high in Lancashire that Southport would get off to a winning start, at the recently reconstructed Haig Avenue Ground, but the Durham City supporters were quietly confident that whatever the prevailing financial problems going into the new season some return would be forthcoming from the opening fixture.

The Durham Chronicle reported on Friday 2 September 1921 that The Citizens had been good value for their opening point. There was an inference that Southport had gone into the game over confident; if they had then they had been brought down to earth.

Fay, the Southport centre half, formerly of Bolton Wanderers, was ill and could not play. Other than that both sides were at full strength.

The first half of the match was by far the better of the two and the opening fast pace of the game would tell in the latter stages. The game came alive in fits and starts, but when it did some “incisive football” was played.

City’s Young was by far the best forward on display and it was fitting therefore that he should have a part in history when after just 10 minutes of the match he scored a brilliant individual goal, Durham’s first in The Football League. That lead however would last just 20 minutes, before Glover equalised for Southport. There was also a late scare for Durham when Rigsby hit the bar.

Durham obviously made an impression on the watching locals. The Chronicle quoted one local hack as saying “other clubs will find the city a hard nut to crack. They are of excellent material and should improve, but a tendency to lofty kicking must be checked”. Straight away we can see that Durham played a very direct style of football.

It was generally agreed that the goalkeeper Patchett had been man of the match for Durham, an indication that Southport had mounted some worthwhile attacks.

The original sepia photograph that the above colourised image is taken from.

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